Twin Lakes cites recent request

By Jason Arndt

One large records request led the Village of Twin Lakes to create a new policy at its regular board meeting last week.

The request, according to Village Administrator Jennifer Frederick, caused the village to consult with its attorney for legal guidance on the issue.

“We have received an open records request recently,” she said, noting the large volume and age of documents requested. “Our attorney recommended having a policy in place since we don’t currently have one.”

Frederick, who reiterated the policy adheres to state law, said the move looks to address costs associated with staff time searching and gathering large volumes.

While Twin Lakes already charges $.25 for one-sided copies and $.30 for double-sided documents, the new policy adds staff time to the total costs of requests exceeding 25 pages.

Staff time, charged at nearest 1/4 of an hour at the rate of the lowest-paid employee capable of performing the task, includes stapling, stamping and collecting documents.

“We will charge staff time for that if the packet is over 25 pages,” Frederick said. “When we do get extensive requests, it gets a little lengthy.”

The most recent request, Frederick reports, has eclipsed four hours of staff time.

“In our most recent request, we have had more than four hours,” she said. “Because they are older documents, we need to go down to the basement and dig through the files.”

However, there is no charge for records submitted electronically, but printing of each electronic record is subject to copying costs.

With Village President Howard Skinner, trustees Tom Connolly and Aaron Karow absent, the rest of the board approved the policy on a 4-0 vote.

The new policy, which expects to get posted by the Village Clerk, also establishes a set of guidelines when making a request.

Guidelines include submitting a written request addressed to the Village Clerk, who can enlist the help of designated public officers.

Designated public officers are the village administrator, accountant/treasurer and deputy clerk.

For requests projected to eclipse $5, the village could require a deposit, as determined by the Village Clerk.

Each requester assumes the cost of postage.


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